It’s a new year and it’s already halfway over. That begs the question, “What have you done to improve your search engine rankings?” Does your website rank at the top 10 for organic SERP’s for key themes? Can prospects find your content easily when they do a search? If your answer is, “No,” or “Not at all,” then I encourage you to employ these top 5 tips to improving your organic search engine rank right now.
Tip #1 | Keywords Matter, But That’s Not All….You know you cannot “stuff” your page with keywords, but did you know that you are better off writing based on themes than writing to incorporate keywords? Since Google has become more sophisticated, their search results now consider more than just keywords – they now weigh in “user intent.”
What To Do Now? Determine topics, rather than just “keywords:” When developing your keyword lists, based on research, determine topics that are relevant to your target customer/persona. A good resource for these are common questions encountered by customer service or sales team members.
Tip #2 | On-Page SEO Improves With Long-Form Content | Because search results are no longer based on the traditional one-to-one relationship between specific keywords and search query, but rather search intent, major search engines like Google, which (as of today) controls 71% of search worldwide, prefer long-form content. According to Searchmetrics’ 2015 Ranking Factors report, top-ranking content was in the range of 1,140 – 1,285 words for desktop and 800+ words for mobile.
What To Do Now? Create content that thoroughly explains your product or service, rather than short-form content that only brushes the surface. Of course, including your target keywords and phrases is still a good idea given they will still be relevant to improving your quality score and page rank.
Tip #3 | Show ”Proof” And Include “Relevant” Words | In your content you will want to use closely associated words that back up your work and your position. Google expects “proof” terms, which are those necessary to explain the topic. For instance, data is a common term but when paired with management and together these two are considered proof positive. Adding relevant terms means to add words that support this concept like data governance, other related industry terms, technology or use cases where possible.
What To Do Now? Review your content and check to see if your high-ranking pages may need a refresh to include current high-value concepts. This is particularly important if changes have occurred in your business or industry, but your pages have not been updated recently.
Tip #4 | Start Marketing Your Content | If your website doesn’t do more than act as an electronic brochure, it’s probably because you are not converting visitors into leads/customers because you’re not giving them any reason to engage on-site. To solve this write and publish helpful content that can drive site visitors to take action because they want the “item-of-value” you provide. This works best if you have content aligned with your buyer journey to ensure you are informing the prospect and moving them along the path to becoming a marketing-qualified-lead.
What To Do Now? If you’re selling B2B, then you need to publish this content on LinkedIn, Slideshare (ideally) and Twitter and embed links to the content on your website. Ideally the content will direct the visitor to a customized landing page to capture key information so you can stay in touch. This is best done on a consistent basis using an editorial calendar.
Tip #5 | Include Images With Your Content | According to Backlinko, their research of over 1 Million Google Search Results proved the incorporation of at least one image per page was a positive rank indicator.
What To Do Now? Include an image where possible in blog posts, LinkedIn posts and Twitter Tweets. This ensures higher viewer engagement and helps readers “skim” content for high-level points.
Bonus Tip #6 | Backlinks Still Matter!!!! | Well, the good news here is that if you have a lot of backlinks – hat’s off to you. If you don’t, embedding links from your site into your content that you market back will have a positive effect on your site rank.
What To Do Now? The key is to get the content published to improve overall rank and link back authority all in one! If you don’t know how to or have the time to publish your content; I can help.
So what about meta data and H1 tags? Do these matter now? Well, not as much as they used to – however – they are still important. Now, meta data is important (99% of top 10 SERP’s had a meta-description) and your H1 tags still need to be consistent with on-page content. It is also a great way to attract interest on the part of the user.
What To Do Now? Review your meta descriptions and H1 tags and make sure they are not redundant. You need unique meta data for every page, and if you don’t have it, be sure to update this.
If all of this sounds good, but you’d rather have a content guru help your team implement these tips, feel free to reach out. For more on this topic, stay tuned as this is part of a three-part series addressing how search engines are affecting marketing for business-to-business organizations. Thank you in advance for your time and I hope this was helpful. – Julie